Losing starting quarterback Kirk Cousins for the season due to a torn Achilles’ is undoubtedly a significant setback for the Minnesota Vikings. Despite rallying from an initial 0-3 start to a more promising 4-4 record in Week 8, this injury raises questions about the team’s quarterback situation going forward. The immediate options for the Vikings are their backups, Nick Mullens and rookie Jaren Hall. However, an intriguing outside possibility is the acquisition of Trey Lance.
Here’s why Trey Lance could be a sensible trade target for the Vikings:
– Trey Lance has a unique connection to Minnesota, having attended North Dakota State, a nearby university. Unlike Carson Wentz, another North Dakota State alumnus, Lance is actually from Minnesota, specifically Marshall. This local link was a factor in considering him in the 2021 draft as a future replacement for Cousins.
– Given that the Vikings couldn’t secure Lance in the 2021 draft due to a move by the 49ers, this presents an opportunity to acquire him now at potentially a lower cost. While the Cowboys could ask for more than a fourth-rounder, this remains a reasonable starting point for trade negotiations.
– Currently, Trey Lance carries a manageable cap number of $940,000 in Dallas. This makes him financially compatible with the Vikings’ salary structure, even while they continue to pay Cousins a top-market salary. This distinguishes Lance from trade targets like Ryan Tannehill and Kyler Murray, whose cap hits might pose challenges for Minnesota.
– The Vikings signaled their willingness to shift away from a traditional pocket passer like Cousins by selecting Jaren Hall in the 2023 draft. Hall’s versatility as an athletic passer suggests the team’s openness to incorporating a different style of quarterback into Kevin O’Connell’s offense.
– Trey Lance’s skill set aligns well with the Vikings’ offensive scheme. He possesses a strong arm and could benefit from the presence of key offensive weapons like Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson, and Christian Darrisaw.
– Cousins’ return timeline remains uncertain, and he will be approaching 36 years old before the next season. The Vikings have the option to evaluate Lance as a potential long-term solution. In the worst-case scenario, if Lance doesn’t meet expectations, the team can move on without significant long-term consequences. In the best-case scenario, Lance’s performance could elevate the team’s playoff prospects, presenting them with a favorable “good problem” in deciding on Cousins.
Considering the Vikings’ current position, caught between recent contention and potential near-future rebuilding, it wouldn’t be prudent to pursue an expensive short-term rental option. Acquiring Trey Lance represents a logical and astute move for the team, providing them with a quarterback who not only fits their offensive style but also offers potential stability beyond the current season.